Five-star fish­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

SPEC­TAC­U­LAR fish­ing in the waters north of Lizard Is­land from the lux­ury of a beau­ti­fully ap­pointed mother­ship is the strat­egy be­hind the launch of Far North Sports Fish­ing (FNSF) in Port Dou­glas tomorrow.

Sport fish­ing en­thu­si­asts Tony Fyfe and Craig Parsell have bought lo­cal busi­ness iden­tity John Mor­ris’ 68-foot Blue Mar­tini as the plat­form for their high-end op­er­a­tion.

The con­cept is one of ex­clu­siv­ity, com­plete sea-far­ing lux­ury and the best of sports fish­ing.

A live-aboard chef will com­plete the crew of five, pre­par­ing gourmet fare for groups of up to eight clients.

‘‘We’re a lux­ury sports fish­ing op­er­a­tion, that’s our fo­cus,’’ said Craig Parsell

He said the com­bi­na­tion of pri­vate char­ter, one-hat equiv­a­lent cui­sine and pre­mium wine adds up to a be­spoke ex­pe­ri­ence that will dif­fer­en­ti­ate the FNSF and Blue Mar­tini from other fish­ing char­ters.

‘‘There are some great fish­ing op­er­a­tions out there and we will be too, but th­ese are the things that will dif­fer­en­ti­ate us,’’ he said.

The part­ners say their in­vest­ment in the op­er­a­tion, hav­ing also spent $1 mil­lion on a re­fit of the mother­ship as well fit­ting it with three cus­tom-built Hooker cen­tre con­soles, is an in­di­ca­tion of their faith in Port Dou­glas as an up­mar­ket desti­na­tion en­joy­ing more growth. They are in a po­si­tion to know. Both men have been com­ing to the area for over 15 years, hav­ing their sec­ond homes in Port Dou­glas. They both en­joy blue wa­ter and es­tu­ary fish­ing, and have also been mem­bers at Palmer Links Golf Club since it was first built. They met years ago in Asia, where both of them ran var­i­ous busi­nesses.

‘‘Craig and I have run a lot of dif­fer­ent busi­nesses and we felt there was a real gap in the sec­tor for an up­mar­ket sports fish­ing op­er­a­tion out of Port Dou­glas based on be­ing truly five-star and of­fer­ing qual­ity fish­ing ex­pe­ri­ences north of Port Dou­glas.’’

Typ­i­cally guests will be flown into a re­mote lo­ca­tion in Rinyirru (Lakefield) Na­tional Park or Lizard Is­land, to hook up with Blue Mar­tini and the FNSF team for their fish­ing ad­ven­ture. The months from mid-Fe­bru­ary to early April will see the op­er­a­tion fo­cus­ing on the ‘‘run off’’ and re­mote bar­ra­mundi adventures in Rinyirru Na­tional Park. The rest of the year FNSF will of­fer a broad range of blue wa­ter sports fish­ing pack­ages at lo­ca­tions stretch­ing from Fitzroy Is­land to the Clare­mont Isles in the north.

The three dories, built by Hooker Boats in Cairns, are crewed by ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sional guides that will take guests into the es­tu­ar­ies and creeks chas­ing bar­ra­mundi or out onto the reef to troll for pelagic species or pop for tro­phy size gi­ant trevally which are present in our north­ern waters.

‘‘We’ve got the whole gam­bit, no mat­ter what they want to do,’’ says Craig Parsell.

As keen fish­er­men them­selves they’ve seen a lot of de­mand from an­glers in the south­ern states to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of fish­ing the likes of GT and bar­ra­mundi, not just mar­lin.

As both men are tapped into Asia, they are also look­ing to the ad­vent of de­mand from keen an­glers from China and ex­pats from Hong Kong. They will ac­tively mar­ket their op­er­a­tion in China, Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong, as well as cater­ing for the usual do­mes­tic and north­ern hemi­sphere clien­tele.

LUX­URY:

Blue Mar­tini is the mother­ship of a new game fish­ing ven­ture

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